There’s no question regarding Robert Pattinson’s stardom – the Twilight franchise solidified his fandom. However, the sparkly vampire series ended five years ago and there has only been mere hints of what Pattinson is able to do past Edward Cullen. He’s tried his hand with numerous forgettable independent films but his latest, Good Time, is the transformation he needed.
In every moment of Josh and Benny Safdie’s sweaty, pulpy, New York City-set crime thriller, we are able to witness Pattinson becoming a bona fide actor. From the moment he barges onto the screen, there is a ferocious intensity that never dissipates.
When the movie opens, Nick Nikas (Benny Safdie) is being questioned by some sort of mental health professional. Nick wears hearing aids, speaks with a delayed reaction, clearly demonstrating having some form of a mental handicap. He becomes frustrated with the line of questioning just before his brother, Connie (Pattinson), storms in and begins yelling at the man behind the desk. He takes his brother and off they go.
Connie is fiercely protective of his brother but doesn’t hesitate to leave him behind when they are being pursued by the cops after robbing a bank. Connie was so meticulous to plan every aspect of the heist out but didn’t take into account Nick falling through a glass door and being cuffed by the police. Connie runs – he will figure out how to get his brother back once he’s safe.
Good Time follows Connie’s pursuit to do just that; he needs to come up with the bail money to get his brother out, while evading those who are searching for him. His quest brings him just about everywhere in New York City at all hours of the night.
The Safdie brothers have created their most accessible film yet and infused each moment with such vivid imagery and unshakable style. From their use of extreme close-ups (there’s an argument that there’s a bit too many) to the anxiety inducing score by Daniel Lopatin, we are fully emerged into their seedy world.
All of Good Time is thrilling and fun, a visual splendor more than a groundbreaking narrative, but it’s worth seeing for the revelatory performance by Pattinson. His wide-eye intensity sets its sights on the audience and he never breaks concentration, even when his Connie isn’t always doing the smartest thing. His character gets himself deeper and deeper into scenarios he doesn’t have to be but Pattinson’s commitment always comes off as assured.
The summer blockbusters have come and gone (and been quite good this year, surprisingly) so it’s nice to have some fun this late in the summer. Good Time is just as the title implies.